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QB Lopina to start for WSU


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POSTED: Wednesday, September 09, 2009

SPOKANE, Wash. » Neither quarterback won the permanent starting job for Washington State in Saturday's loss to Stanford, coach Paul Wulff said yesterday.

Kevin Lopina will start against Hawaii in Seattle this Saturday, with Marshall Lobbestael also likely to play, Wulff said.

Wulff acknowledged that Lopina appeared to move the offense better in the 39-13 loss to Stanford. But he said Lobbestael had to play more in passing situations, and that his protection broke down.

“;I don't think anyone clearly separated themselves,”; Wulff said.

Lopina, a senior, started the Stanford game and also played the third quarter. Lobbestael spelled him in the second and fourth quarters.

This time, Lopina will likely stay in as long as he plays well, Wulff said.

“;If we feel Kevin is playing extremely well and we are really, really hot, there's a chance Marshall could not play,”; Wulff said.

With Lopina playing, the Cougars piled up most of their 351 yards and scored all their points. Lopina, who started eight games last year, finished 10-for-16 for 122 yards, with one touchdown.

Lobbestael, a sophomore who also started some games last year, completed eight of 13 passes for 78 yards. Neither threw an interception.

Wulff said the team ran the ball better when Lopina was quarterback. The team tried to throw more with Lobbestael, and the pass protection was not great.

Despite the lopsided score, the Cougars were certainly more competitive on Saturday than in most of their games last season. If not for a couple of big plays by Stanford, and WSU's failure to score from the 1 early, the score would have been much closer, Wulff said.